Tori McCloud at Worthington Estates Elementary

Tori McCloud
  • Drawing from personal experience, Worthington Estates first-grade teacher Tori McCloud decided to make a dramatic shift in the way she approached teaching.

    McCloud has determined through the years that people learn in different ways, so she has added multiple new options for seating in her classroom. Whether it be the ability to sit on a stool without a back, sitting lower to the ground or not sitting at all, McCloud had her students experiment in the first weeks of the school year with what would fit best for them.

    Flexible classroom seating invites collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking by helping students manage their physical energy and comfort as they learn on their own terms.

    “I really wanted them to pick a seat, not because it’s cool, but these seats are here because I feel like kids learn in different ways. They tried everything out to see how they concentrate best.”

    There are 42 different seating options for students to choose from, and students have the ability to switch if something isn’t working well.

    “As long as you’re safe,” McCloud said, “as long as you’re working, then go for it.”

    Parental response to the reconfigured room has been positive and students have acclimated well, according to McCloud.

    “I’m starting to see more and more kids get up and change their seats, and not because they want to play and be silly, but really making strategic choices. I am seeing better focus.”

    McCloud added, when given options, kids can often do more than what is expected of them.

    “This is about choice and making the right choice for your body. The more choices kids get, the more in charge of their learning they feel.”